A Time for Healing

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Wounds can be physical, emotional, and spiritual. In our faith journeys we often get wounded. Wounds stem from many different sources: abuse, unfaithfulness, divorce, unhealthy relationships, bullying, neglect, poor self-image, etc. Most people bear some kind of wound, and some people unfortunately harbor multiple unhealed wounds and scars.
 
 Are you wounded? Do you suffer from any of these symptoms
·         Perfectionism
·         Feelings of guilt and shame
·         Feeling you’re never good enough
·         Low self-image
·         Self-hatred
·         Critical spirit
·         Insecurity
·         Jealousy
·         Bitterness
·         Rage

If you answered “yes” to any of these, you could berunning wounded.”

Do you recognize these as symptoms of being wounded? Sometimes we overlook the cause and continue with the symptoms. We try to fit in, act properly, or we often live in denial about our wounds. We think if we ignore them, they will go away. We justify our wounds and try to be good, not rock the boat, and be in control. These are attempts to live above the wound.

Running wounded and living above the wound have effects on our physical, spiritual, and emotional health. We focus on the negatives instead of positives. We see the impossibilities instead of the possibilities, and we are filled with fear instead of faith.

The focus on problems, difficulties, and the blows of life leave you sapped of energy, discouraged, and fearful. When we focus on our problems instead of our solutions, we are living in our weaknesses. This focus will have an effect on our spiritual journey.

Steps to Receive Healing for Wounds
1.  ACKNOWLEDGE the need for healing
2.  LOCATE the cause of the pain.
3.  CLEANSE the wound.
4.  RECEIVE HEALING of the hurt.
5.  STRENGTHEN the weak area.

How do we gain strength when we’ve been wounded?  Let’s look at 4 P’s to help us gain strength.
1.    Prayer
2.    Promises in Scripture
3.    Positive Affirmations
4.    Positive Christian support

As we gain strength in our weak areas, let us remember never to waste our wounds. We use all that we have experienced to provide love and encouragement to others who are wounded.
 
David's plea in Psalm 40 is for emotional healing. It gives us hope also for healing.

Psalm 40

 1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
       he turned to me and heard my cry.
 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
       out of the mud and mire;
       he set my feet on a rock
       and gave me a firm place to stand.
 3 He put a new song in my mouth,
       a hymn of praise to our God.

 Click on the link below to hear my 1 hour lesson on A Time for Healing. 
 A Time for Healing by Dr. Cathy Robbs Turner

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Life has seasons, stages, and phases. The life cycle supports this idea. Infants become toddlers who become school age children who become teenagers who become young adults who become middle aged who become senior adults. We end one phase in order to begin another.
Some endings are natural but some are necessary, sometimes we hold on too long to something that should end.

Scripture refers to transitions that occur in our life that should also occur in our faith journey.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
The idea is that as we grow in our faith, we leave behind childish ways. We grow up in our faith. We move forward in our faith journey. So as we mature in our faith we no longer think, speak, or act like a child. That period ends to make way for mature beliefs and practices. Are there some endings we need to make that will allow us to grow and blossom in our faith? What things might need to come to an end so that our faith can grow? Excuses for not having a devotional time? Sleeping in on Sunday morning? Doing things other than service or mission work? Ignoring outreach opportunities?
How do we know when something needs to end?
·        It is immoral, illegal, unethical, or ungodly.
·        It doesn’t pass the “smell test.”
·        It prevents you from living in your God-given purpose.
·        It keeps you “stuck.”
·        It is not likely to change. Past experience indicates a positive change is not likely.
·        It drains you instead of energizes you.
·        It gives you false hope. You keeping hoping things will improve and change but it never does.

In his book, Necessary Endings,  Dr. Henry Cloud says that endings are a necessary part of life. Dr. Cloud’s key metaphor for necessary endings comes from the world of gardening. A healthy, vibrant, blooming rosebush is beautiful, but does not come into being without immense effort. The key to a healthy rosebush: pruning.
Pruning is a process of proactive endings. It turns out that a rosebush, like many other plants, cannot reach its full potential without a systematic process of pruning. The gardener intentionally and purposefully cuts off branches and buds that fall into any of three categories:

1. Healthy buds or branches that are not the best ones,
2. Sick branches that are not going to get well, and

3. Dead branches that are taking up space needed for the healthy ones to thrive. (Page 15)
In our personal lives we must perform the three types of necessary endings described above if we are to flourish. Life always produces more branches than it can sustain. Pruning your life is necessary in order for us to direct limited resources, such as time, money, energy, talent, and emotions toward the things that help achieve our vision most. Often in our personal faith journey we need to leave something behind in order to move forward.  Without the ability to end things, we stay stuck and do not become who we are meant to be.

Let’s see how the gardener prunes the rosebush in order to encourage growth.
1.  The gardener assesses the rosebush to determine which buds are worthy of the plant’s limited fuel and support and then cuts the others away.We may need to consider the worth of our “buds.” Are these people, circumstances, situations that are sucking all of my fuel leaving me too dry to do the things I need to do? Are there activities that are using my limited resources, my limited energy and preventing me from pouring into the things worthy of a daughter or a king? We might need to prune.

2.   The gardener might monitor and care for the sick or diseased branches for a while. But at some point, he realizes that no matter how much water, fertilizer, or care he gives the sick branches, they will not thrive. Are there some unhealthy branches that have somehow gotten attached to you? Are there practices or people or habits that are not healthy and positive and full of life? Might they need to be pruned so that you can give life to something that will actually bloom?

3.  Dead branches force healthy ones to bend instead of grow straight. The gardener needs to cut the dead ones away. Is there a relationship or situation that is affecting the good in you? Sometimes wrong people and wrong circumstances are so diseased that they spread their sickness to other parts of our lives. They begin to kill off the good. As the dead branch inhibits the straight growth of healthy branches, so often unhealthy people cause us to bend so that we grow in an unhealthy way. Are you ready to prune the dead weeds and thorns and branches in your life?

Pruning enables rosebushes and other plants to realize their full potential.  Who wants an average rosebush when you could have a fully developed rosebush? Rosebushes are meant to be spectacular. Roses are probably considered the prize of the garden. The beauty and the fragrance of roses have been celebrated for many centuries, and they still hold a high stature in flower gardening today. Roses are not meant to be ordinary and neither are we. What might you need to end become an extraordinary Christ follower?

 

Bypasses

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Have you ever had to take a detour? Some of the longest nights of my life have been due to roadblocks and bypasses. On a trip to Europe we were scheduled to take a train from France to Spain. We waited and waited and waited and finally learned that there was a fire that spanned across the railroad tracks and prevented us from taking the train. Our group and all of the train passengers boarded busses and traveled through the night to get to our destination. We were sleepy and uncomfortable. We longed for our journey to be different.  It’s not fun to deal with roadblocks but thank goodness we were able to bypass the fire and safely get to our destination. There was a way around the roadblock. Our leaders had a plan. They helped us change direction. They steered us to our destination. I’m thankful for that detour. I’m thankful that we didn’t set out and get in the middle of hazardous situation. We safely arrived at our destination and enjoyed the beauty of Spain. Sometimes detours and bypasses and roadblocks are the best thing for us!
 
 
 
During Paul’s Second Missionary Journey he experienced a roadblock of sorts. He and Silas had planned to go into to Asia but for some reason the Holy Spirit told them not to go that route. We don’t know if they were told through a prophet, a vision, an inner conviction, or in some other way but the men listened to God. Their journey didn’t take them to Asia but to Macedonia where they were able to spread the Gospel and see God work in mighty ways. Paul and Silas led Lydia and a jailer to Christ soon after they arrived in Macedonia. The Gospel was spreading!  I wander what might have happened to Paul and Silas if they hadn’t listened to God’s Spirit? What might have happened to them and to the Gospel message if they had not taken the bypass? Sometimes on our journey, in our seasons, we too encounter a change of plans. We have to take a detour. Knowing where to travel on our journey and how to get there is one of our biggest challenges. Are you like Paul and Silas willing to listen to God’s plans? When we listen to God’s leading and take his bypasses, we get to see the blessings he has in store for us!
 
Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.
That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.
Acts 16:1-10
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Celebrating the Seasons of Life Study

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I am happy to announce the release of my new women's Bible study, Celebrating the Seasons of Life. My goal is to encourage women to live fully in God’s purpose during all the seasons of life. Based on Ecclesiastes 3:1, “for everything there is a season,” the study reminds us that God has a plan for each of us and promises to make everything beautiful for its own time.  Each of the four lessons is based on one of the calendar seasons and includes a 12 minute video and a downloadable study guide that can all be completed in one hour. Each lesson features the story of a biblical woman who used her season for her own good and God’s glory. Using the handout for each lesson you’ll turn inward to examine the season of your life and discover some strategies for living fully in your purpose. The series is designed for individual study or a small group study in the home or workplace. I hope it will serve as a blessing to women who want an easily accessible and inspiring way to grow closer to Christ. The series is available for free at www.christchurchchatt.org
Click here:  Celebrating the Seasons of Life Study

Study Outline
 
Lesson 1:  Season of Hope
                  The Bleeding Woman
            
Lesson 2:  Season of Fruitfulness
                  Ruth

Lesson 3:  Season of Harvest
                  Deborah
 
Lesson 4:  Season of Waiting
                  Esther
 
Leader Guide for Retreat Activities

Narratives of Biblical Women

Why Do We Work?

Monday, April 14, 2014



Work. What comes to mind when I say that word? How do you view your work?
Many of us are under the impression that God required us to work after the fall in the Garden of Eden. We may be living under the perception that work is punishment. We may see it as a necessary evil. How might this perception of work affect our attitude about work?
Work is NOT a necessary evil. God created us to work. He created us to work BEFORE Adam and Eve bit into the apple. After God created the earth and all that is therein, he placed us in charge of caring for it all. That is our work.
Our work is the action of taking care of things that God has entrusted us with.
With that definition of work, how might our thinking about work change? If work is the action of taking care of things, how can we flip our thinking about work? What does the “action of taking care of things” include? Work is the action of taking care of a lot of things: our home, our relationships, our children, our bodies, our social life, and the job we do for pay. Work is a whole host of things we do and involves the bigger picture of who we are. Work IS more than a job; it’s a lot of jobs, a lot of actions! Not only is work the action we do on a job, but it’s also the actions we do in everything that God has entrusted us with.
Our work is our relationship with everyone and everything that God has entrusted us with.
With this definition in mind, look at what this verse in Colossians says about how we approach our work.
·        Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Work as if we are working for the Lord. This means in all aspects of work, in all of our jobs.
When God created the world, he created work. When God created us, he created for specific work, a specific purpose. We are designed to make an impact on the world in everything we think, feel, say, and do. Our work is the action we use to accomplish our purpose. Our paying job is one way we work. Everything else we do is a part of our work too. We are to do all of it as if we are doing it for the Lord.
It is our responsibility to determine who we are in him, what our God-given purpose is and what the work is we’ve been given. Galatians 6:4 tells us, "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you've been given." (The Message)
As we think about our work, let us explore who we are and the work we’ve been given to do. Let us pay careful attention to our God-given purpose and how we live in our purpose whether we are working at our paying job or working in all other aspects of our lives.
·        Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3 (NASB)

Limitless Living

Tuesday, April 1, 2014



Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.  I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. Ephesians 3: 8-9

When Paul describes himself as “the least deserving of all God’s people,” he means that without God’s help, he would never be able to do God’s work. Yet God chose him to share the Good News with the Gentiles and gave him the power to do it. Sometimes we focus on our limitations instead of our limitlessness. Do we self-limit ourselves? Are there things God wants us to do, equips us to do, makes opportunities available for us to do, whispers to us to do but we don’t?  When we don’t, we are limiting God. We are living in our limitations instead of limitlessness. We want to experience limitless living with God.  Paul realized he could limit himself by continuing to think of himself as “the least deserving of all God’s people.” How might the entire course of the Early Church have changed if Paul had focused on his limitations? This is somber thought! Thank goodness Paul chose not to limit himself but to experience limitless living. Paul moved from limitations to limitlessness. He went from limited to unlimited when he allowed God to work through him as he traveled the world for Christ, as he started churches, and as he encouraged others in their faith journey.







What is the connection between the following verse and living a limitless life?







When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. Luke 12:48







·        God gives us much.



·        God expects much.



·        If God gives and God expects, doesn’t he also equip?







Paul says he was “chosen to explain to everyone.” God gave him skills, abilities, and gifts. Then God chose a mission for him, and God expected the mission to be fulfilled. Paul had a choice. He accepted the mission, proclaimed the message, and he embraced his ministry. As a result, the Good News spread around the world.



How far might the Good News spread if we accept our mission, proclaim the message, and embrace our own ministry?



It will be fun to watch what happens will limitless living!

The Impossible Prayer

Thursday, March 20, 2014



How deep is God’s love in you? Is it filling you up? Do you believe that God can fill you up so full with his love that you can cope with impossible situations? The Apostle Paul tells us that we have a God big enough to handle our impossibilities. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he prayed for their spiritual growth.

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:16-19

Let’s look at three parts of this prayer in these verses.
1.     “You may have the power to understand”
2.    “You may experience the love of Christ”
3.    “You will be made complete with the fullness of God”

Notice the prayer is for the power to understand God’s love. God’s love is total, says Paul. It reaches every corner of our experience. Paul uses dimensions to describe the vastness of God’s love. Haven’t you told someone, “I love you this much!” as you’ve spread your arms as wide as you could? There is no bigger width than that. “I love you to the moon and back” is a big love.
·         God’s love is wide – it covers the entire width of our experience.
·         God’s love is long – it continues the length of our lives.
·         It is high – it rises to the heights of our celebration and mountain top experiences.
·         His love is deep – it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even death.
We can never be lost to God’s love. Paul is saying that the love of Christ is eternal; it's infinite. It's without beginning or end. It cannot be measured or contained. This big love of God fills us up and makes us complete. It is awesome and humbling to think that this big God who spreads the width, length, height, and depth of all creation through all time and into eternity can fill ME up!

Paul is praying for some impossible things:

  • ·         to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge. Can you know something that passes knowledge?
  • ·         to comprehend the height, depth, width, breadth of something that has no beginning or end
  • ·         to be filled with all the fullness of God. Can you be filled with something that is so full you can’t even comprehend it? Can you be filled with an omnipresent, omniscient, all knowing God?


Have you ever thought of praying for the impossible? How does your prayer life compare to Paul's? Paul prays for the impossible here. What do you pray for? Are you routine prayers? Bless my day. Give me safety today. Thank you for the food. Protect me while I sleep. These are good and important prayers but Paul is asking us to pray impossible prayers. Can we pray the big prayer Paul wants us to pray? Can we pray to know the way God knows? Can we pray to love like God loves? Can we pray to be filled up every day with God? Can we pray the impossible prayer?

What is impossible for you to do? Think about that for a few minutes. What are the things that you believe you cannot do that perhaps God wants you to do?

What is impossible for you? To pray for your enemies? To love the unlovely? To study God’s Word? To make changes in a relationship? To set boundaries? To get ahold of your health? To right a wrong?

We all have different impossibilities. Can you trust God with your impossibilities?
When we tell ourselves we are in an impossible situation we can remember what Jesus told his disciples.

 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26

Give God your impossibilities today.

 
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